New Delhi, Apr 21: India and Britain will begin their third round of the annual 'Konkan' naval exercise off the Goa coast from today.
The exercise is scheduled to be held till May 2. The main focus includes "combined maritime operations", VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) procedures and anti-submarine warfare. The British Royal Navy's aircraft carrier "HMS Illustrious" will occupy the pride of place in the warfare exercise. The Royal Navy task force for the exercise will include Merlin helicopters, guided-missile frigate HMS Westminster, hunter-killer submarine HMS Trafalgar and tanker RFA Wave Knight, along with the "embedded" American warship USS Cole and French frigate FS Surcouf. The Indian Navy's Sea Harrier jump-jets will operate from Goa to take part in the Konkan exercise. From Indian side, guided-missile destroyers INS Mysore and INS Rajput, frigate INS Gomati, tanker INS Aditya and submarine INS Shishumar will participate in the exercise.
According to official sources, the Konkan series has grown in both scope and complexity over the years, providing an opportunity for both navies to learn from each other and build inter-operability.
India will also hold trilateral naval warfare exercises with South Africa and Brazil from May 2.